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This Week in Nucleic Acids Research: Oct 5, 2011

In a paper published online in advance in Nucleic Acids Research this week, investigators at the Weizmann Institute of Science and Yale University Medical School present their RNA-seq study on Trypanosoma brucei, in which they identified "new C/D and H/ACA small nucleolar RNAs, as well as tens of putative novel noncoding RNAs," several of which, the authors add "are processed from trans-spliced and polyadenylated transcripts." In addition, the Weizamnn-Yale team presents evidence to suggest that noncoding RNAs "may contribute to gene regulation during the complex parasite's life cycle."

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and elsewhere this week present a "computational framework that can be used to prioritize human cancer miRNAs by measuring the association between cancer and miRNAs based on the functional consistency score of the miRNA target genes and the cancer-related genes." When applied to a thyroid cancer case study, the team found that the functional consistency score-based method uncovered "novel cancer-related miRNAs such as miR-27a/b, which were showed significantly upregulated in thyroid cancer samples by qRT-PCR analysis."

Another Chinese Academy of Sciences-led group presents a "hybridization-triggered fluorescence strategy for label-free, microarray-based high-throughput miRNA expression profiling." This approach, dubbed the Stacking-Hybridized Universal Tag assay, can be "used to analyze as little as 100 ng total RNA from human tissues," and is "highly specific to homogeneous miRNAs," the team writes in Nucleic Acids Research this week.

Finally, a trio of investigators at the University of Delaware reports its screen of an E. coli co-existing/co-expressing genomic library "to identify genetic loci that work synergistically to create the considerably more complex acid-tolerance phenotype."

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.